As part of a new Featured Player content series, SoccerWire will be publishing Q&A articles with recently-committed players who are Featured in the SoccerWire Player Directory. The series will allow players to share their stories on the college recruiting process, travel and high school soccer, and their passion for the beautiful game.

In this edition we will showcase Cyrus Neghabat, who has committed to playing NCAA Division I soccer next season at Cal Poly. Cyrus plays club soccer at Real Colorado in their MLS Next program.

SoccerWire: What made you decide to commit to Cal Polytechnic State University?

Cyrus Neghabat: It was always a dream to go to a D1 college somewhere in California as I’ve always loved the atmosphere there. I love the campus and the stadium as well as being close to the beach so it felt like a no-brainer when I received the National Letter of Intent (NLI) offer from them. Having Coach Oige Kennedy at Cal Poly SLO is just an amazing opportunity.

SW: How has Real Colorado and playing in MLSNext helped you improve your game?

CN: Real Colorado has improved my game massively over the time I’ve been here. I feel like my mental and physical strength have improved greatly as well as my game discipline. Playing at the MLS Next level has challenged my talent every step of the way so every time I step on the field I know I have to be at my best if I want to compete.

SW: What was the recruiting process like and what were some of the things that you were looking for in a college?

CN: The Division 1 recruitment process was very difficult and it took a lot of time and patience to start getting the results and offers that I wanted. I was looking for a Division 1 program that offered me a good education. I received multiple offers, it was hard to hear no and it was hard to say no.

SW: When you were younger, who was your favorite soccer player and why?

CN: My favorite soccer player growing up was James Rodriguez and he became my favorite player after the 2014 World Cup. I just loved how much passion and joy he used to play with and it was always so much fun watching him.

SW: What are you interested in studying in school and why?

CN: I’m interested in studying business because I feel like I’ve always been interested in the business parts of things. Whether it’s TV shows, foods, sports or whatever I’ve always been interested in how they work in the grand scheme of things and I’ve always known I’ll own my own small company one day.

SW: Outside of soccer, are you involved in any clubs or organizations?

CN: Outside of soccer I’m involved in the National Honors Society for school where I do community service hours to help the community such as teaching second graders after school for the past eight months.

SW: What is your favorite pair of cleats that you have ever owned?

CN: My favorite pair of cleats were my special edition Mykonos puma ultras!!! I wore them during my playoffs last year and in the first game with them scored probably the best goal of my life against Minnesota United MLS Academy.

SW: What is the best piece of advice that you have ever received from a coach or mentor?

CN: The best piece of advice that I’ve ever heard from a coach or mentor is to have a short memory. Everyone’s going to make mistakes and the best thing you can do about them is to learn from them then quickly forget them and move on.

SW: Is there anyone that you would like to give a shout out to who has helped you in soccer or in life?

CN: I would like to give a shout out to my coach at u19 Real Colorado MLSNext Head Coach Danny Bills. He believed in me and my abilities when many other coaches didn’t. I would not be where I am today without his belief and his guidance in me and I couldn’t be more grateful for having him as a coach.